Elizabeth Cady Stanton led a life of privilege, enjoyed cooking for her family and, in her later years, looked like a lovable grandmother, speaking soft, friendly words to strangers and friends alike. She was also one of history's most outspoken advocates of women's rights who chose to endure hardship and hostility to spread her ideas about the equality of men and women, and the need to allow women to vote. She faced down the hoots and howls of her enemies, risked her life, and uttered words that shaped public debate in her day. Her ideas about civil liberties for women have formed part of the foundation of the modern women's movement.
"As a child," says Fritz, "[Elizabeth Cady] knew that girls didn't count for much, but she didn't expect to change that." The child who did not expect to change how America treated its women became one of the people who influenced change. She wrote many of the speeches delivered by the firebrand Susan B. Anthony; she delivered many others herself. The sweet, loving woman with the disarming appearance created firestorms of controversy, wore trousers in public, likened women's lives to those of slaves, and was one of the first people to articulate the idea that "white men" were to blame. Even after her death, mention of her name could spark heated debate among friends as well as foes. In You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? Jean Fritz presents the woman in her contradictions and humanity, while showing how she...
(The entire section is 260 words.)
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